During the debate Sunday night, Republican nominee for president Donald Trump alleged that the United States is letting in “tens of thousands” of Syrian refugees. That is false.
Last year, President Obama pledged to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees in fiscal year 2016 — a pledge that the United States failed to meet.
It is true that Clinton has called for 65,000 Syrian refugees to be resettled in the U.S. However, Trump also alleged that refugees needed to be subjected to “extreme vetting” because they were potentially a security risk.
Trump did not elaborate on what “extreme vetting” is, however, refugees resettled in the United States already are subjected to what could be described as extreme vetting.
The vetting process typically takes up to 18 to 24 months, and involves multiple multiple federal intelligence and security agencies as well as the United Nations (up to 9 agencies are involved in total). Refugees do not get to choose which country they want to be resettled in.
Additionally, out of the 784,000 refugees the United States has let in since 9/11, only three have been arrested for terrorist activity. All three of the attacks were planned for outside the United States.
Later in the debate, a voter asked a question about what the candidates would do to help with the ongoing crisis in Syria and likened the humanitarian disaster to the Holocaust and the United States’ shameful inaction.
Trump initially failed to answer, then disavowed his running mate’s position and then went on a rant filled with foreign policy inaccuracies, including that “Syria is now Russia.”
The Syrian crisis is the worst humanitarian crisis since WWII.